Bring your own device

What is BYOD?

Bring your own device (BYOD) is an organizational policy that allows employees to use their personal devices for business purposes. BYOD involves employees using personal smartphones, tablets, computers, and USB devices to access official data and applications for work.

Advantages and disadvantages of BYOD

Organizations around the world are increasingly adopting BYOD policies. There are both pros and cons to the implementation of BYOD policies in organizations, which are listed below.

Advantages of BYOD Disadvantages of BYOD
It offers better flexibility to employees in the way they collaborate and work. It poses data security risks, especially if the organization does not monitor and secure the use of these devices.
It is more convenient for employees with regards to file sharing. If employees lose their devices containing organizational data, the company is left vulnerable to potential data breaches and the loss of organizational information.
The company spends less money and time acquiring the required IT hardware. The organization has to invest in securing employees' personal devices to ensure that organizational data is not compromised.
It proves useful in remote work conditions that involve a lot of official travel. It is challenging to secure personal devices to protect organizational data while still ensuring personal data privacy for employees.

BYOD security risks

A few data security threats that may arise from BYOD policies include:

  • The loss of personal devices, which could lead to data breaches or leaks.
  • The use of unsecured personal devices that hackers can infiltrate.
  • The use of shadow IT devices, which are personal devices used for organizational purposes without being reported to admins.
  • Noncompliance with BYOD policy rules and employee ignorance while using BYOD devices, which lead to accidental data leaks.

What is BYOD security?

BYOD devices are entryways into an organization's network. Implementing a BYOD policy involves considering the security risks mentioned above and developing a secure organizational policy.
Here are four tips to keep in mind while drafting a BYOD policy:

Implement data loss prevention

Keep unauthorized removable media devices at bay and allow access only for trusted devices. For instance, you can use our USB access control software to allow or deny file access, file modifications, and the running of executables on USB drives. Furthermore, employ the right tools to secure employees' devices. Indicators of compromise like mass file deletions can be detected by our insider threat detection software.

Enforce endpoint management

When employees use personal devices, enforce adequate security measures across those devices. It is essential, although challenging, to put in place endpoint management software without affecting the privacy of employees. Some challenges include pushing regular updates to personal devices and lacking control over unsecured apps or websites that may lead to potential breaches.

Enhance cloud security

Examples of BYOD policy risks include the loss of personal laptops or USB drives and the compromise of user system accounts accessed through the internet. Therefore, it is important to keep an eye on what data is being uploaded from or downloaded onto employees' devices. A deep packet inspection tool can analyze the web apps accessed and the data packets sent or received over the internet. Vigilance over cloud applications can ensure that BYOD use does not violate your data integrity and security needs.

Enable real-time threat detection

In addition to securing personal devices used by employees, audit your file repositories in real time to detect data manipulation, data theft, and malware attacks. Our file system auditing tool records file events as they occur and is useful for capturing file theft attempts. Such a tool instantly identifies indicators of attacks, like bulk file modifications or deletions, so you can launch data loss prevention measures without any delay.

How to secure BYOD use

Implement different security requirements to ensure maximum security while allowing BYOD use. Some of the measures that should be undertaken include:

Data-centric initiatives

  • Mandate the encryption of data stored, used, or transmitted via personal laptops and removable media devices.
  • Install antivirus and anti-malware software on personal devices to thwart malware attacks.
  • Prioritize data security by restricting employees to sharing and using on personal devices only those documents that do not contain any sensitive personal data. Put in place an appropriate approval process for employee accountability.

Device-centric initiatives

  • Approach asset management with careful consideration. Find the right balance between not encroaching on employees' privacy and simultaneously securing business-critical data.
  • Institute physical controls on USBs and other personal devices for an additional layer of security.
  • Enforce IT security checks and software updates on personal laptops consistently to avoid data compromise.

How DataSecurity Plus can help you manage BYOD use

DataSecurity Plus is a unified data visibility and security platform offering a suite of scans, reports, and alerts to meet your data security needs. You can manage your BYOD policy with the following capabilities:

  • USB port control: Enable USB port blocking through our USB port controller and stop USBs from being accessed on employee devices storing highly sensitive data.
  • USB write protection: Block user actions like reading or modifying files and running executables on USBs with our USB write protector to thwart data theft attempts.
  • Peripheral device control: Control which peripheral devices, including Bluetooth devices, are allowed with our data leak prevention tool.
  • Cloud application discovery: Monitor and block risky web access attempts and the use of shadow apps with our cloud application discovery tool to ensure that data is not leaked via unauthorized cloud apps.
  • File integrity monitoring: Preserve the confidentiality and validity of business-critical data with our file integrity monitoring tool that detects data manipulation instantly.
  • Ransomware detection: Indications of ransomware intrusion can be detected by DataSecurity Plus' real-time ransomware detection tool.

Try all these features and more with our free, fully functional, 30-day trial of DataSecurity Plus. Alternatively, you can request a personalized demo to get a glimpse of these features here.

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